Good apart, but stronger together? That’s the likely goal for the now merged CFH Racing, the amalgamation of past single-car operations Ed Carpenter Racing and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Team: CFH Racing
Engine/aero kits: Chevrolet
Sponsors: Fuzzy’s Vodka (No. 20), Hartman Oil (No. 67)
2014 STATS (As separate Ed Carpenter Racing, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing)
Wins: 3 (Conway 2, Carpenter 1)
Podiums: 5 (Conway 2, Carpenter 2, Newgarden 1)
Pole Positions: 1 (Carpenter)
Fastest Laps: 2 (Newgarden)
Points: 1014 (Newgarden 406, Carpenter 262, Conway 252, Hildebrand 66, Tagliani 28)
Laps Led: 181 (Carpenter 122, Conway 36, Newgarden 20, Tagliani 3)
Championship Position: 13th (Newgarden), 22nd (Carpenter), 23rd (Conway), 26th (Hildebrand), 31st (Tagliani)
2015 LINEUP (Engineers in parentheses)
20 Ed Carpenter (Ovals; Matt Barnes)
20 Luca Filippi (Road/Streets; Matt Barnes)
67 Josef Newgarden (Jeremy Milless)
As separate single-car entities, Ed Carpenter Racing was incredible and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing equally pesky and unlucky during the 2014 season. ECR won three races, second only to Team Penske in terms of volume during the year. Meanwhile SFHR threatened on multiple occasions – notably Mid-Ohio – but was unable to seal the deal.
Combined under the CFH Racing banner, you’d have to expect more of the same in terms of this team posing the biggest threat outside the “established” power teams. Newgarden is a star in the making who has been desperately unlucky to have not won a race in his first three seasons. Carpenter remains one of IndyCar’s best on ovals. And Filippi has a high ceiling and pure, raw speed. This team could produce two first-time winners during the year, Carpenter is always a threat at Indy, and Newgarden has his best chance yet to end top-10 in points for the first time.